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[Vision] First PC DynaBook is great, but Montessori is better.

Today I had another opportunity to talk to high school students about Vision. The first example I always give is John F. Kennedy's Apollo project. The story itself is called a "moonshot" and is synonymous with "having a vision". As well as this story, I prefer Alan Kay's idea of the Dynabook as a computer kid.

Alan Kay developed the idea of a personal computer around 1968, and published a paper on the subject in 1972. The name of this personal computer was the Dynabook. The world's first notebook computer, built by Toshiba, was also named Dynabook. As you can see from Wikipedia, the reason why Toshiba named it Dynabook came from Alan Kay's concept of the Dynabook. Clearly, Toshiba engineers wanted to achieve Alan Kay's Vision, so they created this notebook computer.

And as you can see from this illustration of the Dynabook concept, this is very much like the iPad. In fact, when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007, he invited Alan Kay to ask him if the iPhone was worth talking about. Alan Kay's response was to tell him to make an iPad. It was Apple that created the real Dynabook. This is because a Dynabook requires more creative thinking than "mathematical thinking with only keyboard input".

Alan Kay's idea for the Dynabook was so brilliant and so popular that even Steve Jobs invited him to the iPhone launch because of the way he positioned the computer. His Vision of the computer was of a world where children could learn maths and create ideas and learn on their own. For this reason, the Dynabook needs a keyboard as well as other, more intuitive interfaces. In an article he wrote himself, he wrote that what he aimed for with the Dynabook was the environmental features of Montessori education and that Montessori was still more right than they were.

Both of my children are Montessori educated up to secondary school, and I hope they are in a better world than this Dynabook concept and that they will come up with great ideas in the future.

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